Easter Sunday Reflection – Sunday April 12

He is risen!  He is risen indeed!  Wow, what a relief!  Not even covid-19 can stop Jesus from rising from the dead.  Now and for eternity, we are assured of the forgiveness of our sins and our life forever with God.

In this time of ongoing fear and anxiety, we can only thank God that He raised Jesus from the dead.  Jesus has permanently destroyed the power of evil and fear to control our lives.  With all the negativity surrounding us, it’s hard not to be in a constant state of vigilance and even despair.

Yet we are believers in Jesus.  Yes, sickness and death are part of being human and will come to us and to our loved ones whether or not it is covid-19 related.  Our physical reality is the human condition.  Our spiritual reality is eternal life in Christ.

No matter what, the Risen Lord is with us.  He is with the front line hospital workers, doctors and nurses.  He is with First Responders and grocery store staff.  He is with all those who must work for us at this trying time.  He is with the sick and the dying even if we can’t be.  He is with all of us, all the time.

By the power of the Resurrection, Jesus has broken the bonds of sin and death.  As Romans 8:38,39 says, nothing – not even covid-19 – can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Experience the joy and hope of Easter.  Remember Jesus died for you.  Remember He is with you always.  Remember His eternal life gives us hope as believers.  Give thanks and praise His name.  For indeed, the Lord is good and His love is everlasting.

God bless you.

Coleen+

Rector, St. Peter’s Anglican Church

 

Good Friday Meditation – Friday April 10

  1. Find a quiet place, sit down, take a couple of deep breaths.
  2. Imagine you are in Jerusalem. You are part of a crowd watching something.  Smell the smells, hear the shouting, feel the bustle, taste the dust.  The noise gets louder.
  3. You look up and there’s Jesus carrying His cross. He doesn’t look like Jesus.  His head is bleeding from the crown of thorns.  His back is pasted in dried blood from the scourging.  He is stumbling under the weight of the cross and His own human weakness.  You have trouble watching and keep averting your eyes.
  4. You follow the crowd to Golgotha. You can’t see much, only hear the echoing sounds of the hammer pounding the nails into the flesh of Jesus.  Then He is lifted up between two others and hangs tormented before everyone.  You hear Him say something – something about forgiving.
  5. Suddenly you are aware of someone beside you. It is a person who has hurt you in your life.  You are astonished that they are there as well.  Annoyed, you turn and look at Jesus.  Jesus is looking at that person with such love and tenderness then forgives them, right in front of you!  You feel compelled to look at the person now and they look different.  Something has changed in them.  Their features are less harsh, their demeanor more humble.  You hardly recognize them.
  6. Then you hear your own name. You look up and there is Jesus looking at you with the same love and tenderness He had looked at the person beside you.  You see His lips move and suddenly realize He is saying words of forgiveness to you, personally.
  7. Uncharacteristic of you, you feel the need to take the hand of that person beside you and together you watch Jesus die – for you, for them, and for the world.
  8. Pause and feel your feelings.
  9. You realize suddenly that you are alone before the cross. Mary, the mother of Jesus, and John are standing close by to Jesus.  You nod at them with respect, glance furtively at Jesus, now dead, say what you need to, though words seem to escape you.  You turn and walk back into your life, now changed forever.

God bless you.

Coleen+

Rector, St. Peter’s Anglican Church

Maundy Thursday Reflection – Thursday April 9

Tonight Jesus will be betrayed and condemned on false charges.  Before that scenario of pain and despair, He will spend His last earthly night with His best friends.  Knowing what was going to happen, Jesus prepared the disciples, and us, for what’s next.

He washes their feet – a scandal then and even more so now.  Who washes someone else’s feet?  Oh wait, parents, caregivers, hospital personnel and nursing home workers do.  Most of us have forgotten the true service rendered in washing someone’s feet.  It is a humbling experience and intimate in its closeness to another person.

Jesus tells them He is giving them an example.  Horrified, they’re not sure what to do.  Peter speaks for all of us in his insistence that Jesus not wash his feet.  Jesus takes that teachable moment and shows Peter, and us, what true discipleship means – service to others.

With covid-19, we may not be washing anyone’s feet, but we can serve one another through prayer, forgiveness, compassion and hope.  Someone needs to hear from you.  They might need groceries or medication, they might need reassurance, they certainly need a word or gesture of hope because someone cares – you!

Jesus then goes on and offers bread and wine as a remembrance of His Body and His Blood that He will sacrifice within hours.  Whether we call our repetition of this action the Lord’s Supper, Eucharist or Holy Communion, it was, and is, the hallowed remembrance of the ultimate sacrifice of our Lord.

When we all get back to church eventually, take communion.  It is the Lord’s ongoing gift of Himself to any believing, baptized Christian.  Embrace the privilege.  Be a responsible disciple and share the gift of Jesus by witnessing to others of His goodness and graciousness in your own life.

Life is hard now, more so than we could ever have imagined.  Do not despair.  The disciples must have been crazy with fear and worry, perhaps mostly for themselves.  Jesus gave His life to free us from fear.  Stay safe.  Keep trusting in the Lord.  He will not abandon us.

God bless you.

Coleen+

Rector, St. Peter’s Anglican Church

 

Palm Sunday Reflection – Sunday April 5

How often do we cheer our heroes then trample them under when they get old, tired or no longer able to perform at the level we want them to?  This will be the road for Jesus.

Cheered by the crowds on Sunday, He will be crucified before them on Friday and no one will try to stop it.  Sports heroes traded or retired, business partners or colleagues let go, relatives shunted to nursing homes – we all have stories of these in our immediate life or purview who have been scuttled away because now deemed unuseful, inconvenient or a danger to themselves or others.

And yet the mystery of Palm Sunday, or liturgically Passion Sunday, is that the very rejection, torture and ultimate death of Jesus is what saved us and our world from the greatest human fear – suffering and death.  Jesus’ final and lasting heroism was not His miracles but His passion, death and resurrection that we all might have our sins forgiven and have eternal life.

Reach out to someone this week.  Many people are feeling useless and inadequate at home.  Remind them that they are loved, prayed for, and cared about.

In this fearful time of Covid-19, remember Jesus.  In this challenging time when live sports and entertainment stop, heroes retire unsung and we can’t even visit our loved ones in long term care, remember hope – the hope that comes from believing in a God who is with us and who knows what’s going on, even if we don’t.

God bless you.

Coleen+

Rector, St. Peter’s Anglican Church

Online Resources

These are the online resources available for virtual services.

Service and Prayer Live-streams and Videos

  • Good Shepherd, Edmonton, Morning Prayer until March 31, 9 am, Zoom Meeting ID: 924 503 730
  • St. Augustine’s of Canterbury, Edmonton, Sunday, 10 am, Facebook
  • St. Augustine’s Parkland, Spruce Grove, Sunday, 10 am, YouTube
  • St. Matthew’s, St. Albert, Sunday, 10 am, Facebook
  • Immanuel, Wetaskiwin, Morning Prayer, Sunday, 10 am, Facebook
  • St. George’s, Devon, Sunday, 10 am, Zoom, Meeting ID: 179 577 118, Password: 825938
  • All Saints’, Drayton Valley, Sunday Morning Prayer, March 22 & 29, 10:30 am, Facebook 
  • St. Margaret’s, Edmonton, Sunday, 10:30 am, Facebook; Evening Prayer, Friday, 9 pm, Facebook
  • Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Edmonton, Sunday, 10:30 am, Eucharist, Facebook
  • All Saints’ Cathedral, Edmonton, Morning Prayer, Sunday, 11:00 am, Zoom, Meeting ID: 983-975-826, Password: 085519; Facebook
  • St. Faith’s, Edmonton, Sunday, 11:00 am, Facebook
  • St. Matthias Filipino Congregation, Edmonton, Sunday, 2 pm, Zoom Meeting ID: 570 766 317
  • St. Thomas, Sherwood Park, Morning Prayer, Monday-Friday, 9 am, Zoom Meeting ID: 356 276 601
  • Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Edmonton, Eucharist, Thursday, 10 am, Facebook
  • St. Timothy’s, Edmonton, YouTube
  • Christ Church, Edmonton, Taize Prayer and Reflection, Leaflet / YouTube; Sunday Morning Prayer YouTube

Using Zoom for the first time? Not to worry, you are not alone. Fortunately, it is a relatively straight forward process. You can watch this VIDEO to help you get started or read this ZOOM HOW-TO.

Parish Letter – March 27, 2020

March 27, 2020

Dear Friends in Christ,

  1. Hope you are doing as well as can be.
  2. St. Peter’s will not have public worship for the foreseeable future. At this time there will be no Sunday Church services nor services during Holy Week.
  3. If you have access to a computer, there are church services available online. Also, the Book of Alternative Services (BAS) and the Book of Common Prayer (BCP) are available online.
  4. For those of you with no computer access, I am sorry that you cannot participate in virtual church services.
  5. For those of you interested, here are the Sunday readings for April and Holy Week.

Palm Sunday April 5:  Isaiah 50: 4-9a; Psalm 31; 9-16; Philippians 2:5-11; Matthew 26; 14-27:66

Monday April 6:  Isaiah 42:1-9; Psalm 36:5-11; Hebrews 9: 11-15; John 12:1-11

Tuesday April 7:  Isaiah 49:1-7; Psalm 71:1-14; 1 Corinthians 1:18-31; John 12:20-36

Wednesday April 8:  Isaiah 50: 4-9a; Psalm 70; Hebrews 12:1-3; John 13:21-32

Maundy Thursday April 9: Exodus 12:1-14; Psalm 116; 10-17; 1 Corinthians 11: 23-26; John 13: 1-17; 31b-35

Good Friday April 10:  Isaiah 52:13-53:12; Psalm 22; Hebrews 10: 16-25; John 18:1 – 19:42

Easter Sunday April 12:  Acts 10:34-43; Psalm 118, 1-2, 14-24; Colossians 3:1-4; John 20:1-18

Sunday April 19:  Acts 2: 14a, 22-32; Psalm 16; 1 Peter 1:3-9; John 20: 19-31

Sunday April 26:  Acts 2: 14a, 36-41; Psalm 116: 1-3, 10-17; 1 Peter 1:17-23; Luke 24: 13-35

 

Keep the faith and stay well!  I will continue to be in touch.

Love and prayers always

Coleen+

Rector, St. Peter’s Anglican